If your business is in the market to lease commercial space, you likely understand the importance of this decision. Signing a commercial lease isn’t just a financial commitment. Choosing the right (or wrong) space could impact the future of your company.
Yet all too many businesses overlook a few simple steps that could save them problems down the road. The New York business law attorneys of Rosenbaum & Taylor take a look at these common mistakes. Contact us today for help with your commercial lease.
Commercial Lease Pitfalls Your Business Must Avoid
Before signing that lease agreement, make sure you don’t make these mistakes.
Failing to Read (and Understand) the Terms
At a minimum, you need to read the lease before signing it – all of it. Some businesses skip over terms, clauses, or even entire pages. They just assume that something in the contract won’t matter or was drafted with their best interests in mind. Never assume this.
If you’re unsure what a term means, ask a New York business law attorney.
Failing to Negotiate Better Terms
Many businesses don’t understand that they have the right to negotiate more advantageous lease terms. Recognize your best interests and then negotiate to effectuate them in the lease. Common negotiable items include:
- Lower rent payment
- Improvements or repairs to be done before taking possession of the property
- Shifting responsibility for certain duties or expenses to the landlord.
Not Taking the Location Into Account
Is the office you’re considering in the best part of town for your business? For example, if you’re opening a restaurant, what types of businesses are in the vicinity? Are there other restaurants that may be competing with you for customers? Are they office or retail spaces whose workers may need a good place to eat for lunch?
Know the location and how it may impact your operation.
Not Inspecting the Property First
Do you really understand the condition of the property you’re about to lease? What if there are broken items or signs of neglect or damage from the previous leaseholder? Worse, what if there are hazards that need to be fixed for the safety of you, your employees, and your guests?
Document any dangerous conditions and address them with the landlord. Speak with a knowledgeable New York business lawyer to learn more about this.
Not Considering the Size and Layout of the Space
Is the space large enough for your business operation? Is it equipped with what you will need to conduct business? For instance, if the kitchen space is too small, it likely won’t do well to have a restaurant there. Perhaps the landlord will allow you to renovate or modify the space, but you will need permission first.
Failing to Consider Potential Zoning Issues
Depending on the nature of your business, you need to consider any zoning or property use restrictions governing the property. Your business may not be allowed to conduct its operations in the space you want. A New York business attorney can guide you on this.
Our Team Is Ready to Help Your Business
Rosenbaum & Taylor can assist with each of the above items. More specifically, we can help with reviewing and negotiating lease terms so you understand your and the landlord’s obligations. We can also help if a legal dispute arises that ends up in litigation.
Are you interested in leasing a piece of commercial property? Reach out to our New York business legal team today.